|Press Reviews and Ratings
|Sharpe's Challenge Episode 1
UK transmission: 21.00 Sunday, 23
April 2006, ITV1:
7.1 million Viewers, 30.8% Audience Share
Sharpe's Challenge Episode 2
UK transmission: 21.00 Monday, 24 April 2006, ITV1:
5.8 million Viewers, 25.0% Audience Share
The Making Of Sharpe's Challenge
UK transmission: 22.30 Monday, 24 April 2006, ITV3:
421,920 Viewers, 4.29% Audience Share
|"Look Sharpe! He leads victorious cavalry charges with ease and finesse.
With Richard Sharpe you can expect action, drama and romance. Amazing
stunts ... historic sets ... a colourful picture of British India."
Suruchi Mazumdar, The Indian Express
“The films display
a lusty sense of fun, and Bean’s rough and rowdy
presence makes them very entertaining.”
Reporter – 31st August 2006.
who often plays villains, makes a great larger-than-life
Angeles Daily News – 5th September 2006.
in search of epic adventure are in luck.”
Los Angeles Advocate – 27th
maintains a rakish, bawdy edge as he romances the ladies
in those moments between the battles.”
Channel Guide - July 2006
“These are perfect
couple films. Men will love the action and attention to
detail in the battle scenes, while women will love watching
Bean – a man made to wear a uniform – in the
romantic title role.”
Channel Guide – July
good news: Sharpe's Challenge returns, after
a gap of eight years ... This show has everything you'd
expect. As well as that devilishly handsome but evil maharajah,
there are bumbling, bullying, alcoholic British officers
bursting out of their britches and losing their minds in
the heat of the subcontinent. There are plenty of comedy
Indians, some good, some bad, lots killed. There are romantic
but impenetrable forts on tops of hills, belly dancers,
incense and veiled women of extraordinary beauty. There's
a blonde English rose as well, called Celia, whose job
is to be captured, to heave her ample bosom, and to have
her clothes removed at every opportunity. She falls for
Mr Bean, of course - Sean, not Rowan Atkinson - in spite
of his 1970s footballer's haircut and his lack of lips.
And above everything, somewhere between the action and
the relentless sun, vultures circle. Fabulous."
real rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventure not to be missed."
Alison Lumm, Daily Mirror
"This is classy television of a type
you don’t get often, now, and I can’t recommend
it highly enough ... Enjoy!”
Lynda Gilby, Sunday
a rip-roaring adventure ... this is the best-looking Sharpe ever."
Pettet, Sunday Express
and buckle ... remained in place right to the end - when
a terrfic cliffhanger set up tonight's concluding part
very nicely indeed."
James Walton, Daily
the opening chapter's intrigue, a handsome finale to this
rousing adventure, studded with seduction, betrayal and
the military buffoonery our long-suffering hero is well
used to by now."
Chris Riley, Daily Telegraph
"Sharpe's Challenge was
well up to the standard of previous rollicking adventures
in this occasional series ... The Indian scenery is voluptuous,
the gory battle scenes pull no punches ... the action was
dizzying ... and the characters are sharply, if cartoonishly
drawn, making it easy to tell the goodies from the baddies."
Peter Paterson, Daily Mail
a sumptuous show, such a treat for the eyes you could watch
with no sound."
Matt Baylis, Daily Express
sweeping historical entertainment, filled with fruity cameo
performances and filmed on location in western Jaipur with
4,000 extras ... 'It's got great scale to it,' says Sean
Bean, the actor who playes Sharpe, 'a big budget and some
fantastic characters.' What more could anyone ask for?"
David Chater, The Times
its wide, open Indian vistas, it has a more epic, cinematic
feel than most, and will look good on today's widescreen
televisions. Little has changed ... it's formulaic escapism
- little more than G.A. Henty for the modern age, with
a little added romance for the ladies - but it works
... the derring-do is driven by sound, old-fashioned
ideas of honour, courage and decency ... in short supply
Nigel Andrew, Mail On Sunday
all here, in fact: gratuitous swordplay, gratuitously exposed
female breasts, even more gratuitously exposed male breasts..."
Smith, Sunday Telegraph
memorable battle scene ... sword fights quite up to Errol
Flynn standards ... All this crash, bang, wallop was not
for viewers of a nervous disposition, but the rest of us
will be hoping that ITV1 will not allow another eight years
to pass before the next Sharpe adventure
arrives on screen."
Peter Paterson, Daily Mail
the return of Sean Bean as Richard Sharpe, we can, once
again, sit back and indulge ourselves with some toothsome,
rugged male crumpet combined with a rattling good yarn
... As usual, these episodes are beautifully written and
filmed on location with a lavish attention to detail that
must have cost a fortune. Also, as usual, the tale contains
plenty of action and derring-do, plus a splendid villain
... There is also, of course, an English maiden in distress,
facing a fate worse than death when she is captured and
placed in the harem."
Lynda Gilby, Sunday
Bean ... back at his two-fisted, all-action best, surviving
bloody massacres in order to exact revenge ... Once more,
he demonstrated his mastery of riding horses, discharging
muskets, biffing baddies and - steady on, ladies! - manfully
filling taut military breeches. Sometimes, I declare, he
did them all at once. For Mr Bean swashes a very mean buckle
David Belcher, Scottish
favourite bit-of-rough swashbuckler..."
Nicholas Spencer, Financial
Independent On Sunday
is back. Huzzah ... As ever, the plot is the least important
part of the drama. The fun can be found instead in the
ease with which Bean commands the screen, in the wonderful
villainy of Toby Stephens ... and in the well-drawn comradeship
between Sharpe and his former sergeant Patrick Harper (the
laid-back Daragh O'Malley). All the staples, from literal
bodice-ripping to the maxim that the nastiest of the nasty
guys always have biblical names, are present and correct
and, as an added bonus, we get the luscious, although slightly
limp Padma Lakshmi in what has become known to aficionados
as 'the Liz Hurley role'."
Sarah Hughes, Observer
... the story rollicks along and is superbly made and well
Martin James, Sunday Times
Dodd ... played with the charm of a hissing cobra by Toby
Matt Baylis, Daily
Stephens makes an entirely villainous Colonel Dodd ...
His first meeting with Sharpe shows he's a terrifying adversary
for our swashbuckling hero, and their encounter at the
end of this episode makes the wait for tomorrow night's
conclusion a frustratingly lone one."
Horsford, Daily Telegraph